“That was all before…” Jenna waves her hand in the air, but we both know what she means. Before I touched her in the most intimate places. Before I felt her shudder under my tongue. Before she tasted the salt on my skin. Before I promised a lot more than I could deliver.
Ty Branch has wanted one thing his entire life—to play professional baseball. When he gets a chance to move from San Francisco to play at Texas powerhouse Garvin State University, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make his dream come true, even if that means hiding his past. But when he meets dance major Jenna Taylor, the chemistry is so strong his single-minded quest begins to weaken. As he gets to know her quirky, small-town family, he falls more deeply
in love, but becomes even more sure he can never tell her the truth about his family. When a surprise visitor blows his past wide-open, Ty is forced to come to terms with his secrets. But is the damage already done with Jenna or can he find a way to sacrifice everything he’s worked for in order to win back the heart of a once-in-a-lifetime love?
“I’m glad it was you at the bar tonight Ty,” Jenna says, looking up at me.
I glance down at the worn, grey carpet. “I’m glad it was you too. I’ve wanted to talk to you all year.” What am I doing here? I should tell her goodnight and walk away instead of standing here sounding like a teenager at the prom.
“Really?” She looks like she’s trying decide if that’s just a line. “Why didn’t you?”
I look back down and Jenna bites her bottom lip just slightly in a way that’s both innocent and undeniably sexy.
“I just…” I can’t look at her anymore, so I pull my eyes away and stare down the empty hallway. Why haven’t I spoken to her in almost seven months? Because I’ve spent that time becoming someone new and I can’t wreck all of that hard work. Because I’d have to tell her about all of the things that I’ve kept hidden from everyone if we got involved. Because I’d have to be honest with her—and right now I can’t be honest with anyone. “It’s complicated.”
“Oh,” she says vaguely and I know she doesn’t understand. How could she? Jenna puts the key in her door. “Do you want to come in for a minute? I’ve got a couple of beers in the fridge.”
I glance at my own front door down the hall. The one I should be walking through right about now. “I should go…”
There’s no denying the disappointment in her eyes when she looks at me and it’s painful to know what I could have if I just take that one step forward.
“Okay,” Jenna says. She stands up on tiptoes and bends toward me, her lips grazing my cheek. My head is filled with the soft, powdery scent of her mixed with something deeper and sexier. “Thanks for the ride.” She lifts one finger and draws it down my neck slowly and that’s all it takes for me to lose every ounce of my resolve.
Before I can think about what I’m doing, I bend down and kiss her so hard that I feel the breath leave my body as I press her up against the door and lace her fingers through my own. I’m starting to get lost in the kiss when the reality of what I’m doing hits me.
“I’m sorry,” I say, taking a step back from her. The taste of her is still on my lips and I want more, so much more, but I can’t. It’s not right.
“Don’t be,” she says, grabbing my hand and pulling me closer.
But I resist, glancing away because I know if I look into her eyes I’ll lose every ounce of willpower I’m trying to summon. I can’t believe I’m about to undo everything I’ve put together these past few months. But Jenna is right here in front of me and she deserves to know the truth. “Listen…there are some things you don’t know about me…”
She looks into my eyes and I’m caught. “An STD?” she says boldly.
I wince. “No.”
“A felony? A girlfriend? A baby?”
I can’t help but laugh. In light of her guesses, maybe it’s not such a big deal. “No. Nothing like that.”
She grabs both of my hands and pulls me to her and every shred of resolve melts away. “Then I don’t care.”